Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Joy of Journals

I've been keeping a daily journal for more years than I can count. I started in a little looseleaf binder - one I covered with fabric and lace so many years ago I can't remember when! I have a suitcase filled with the pages from all those years of journaling. Then I graduated to a Franklin Planner and used that for ten years or more. When we went on our mission to Armenia, a friend gave me a beautiful hardback journal. I filled it. Then began keeping my journal on the computer. For 14 years or more I have filled binders with typewritten journal entries.

I'm simply being obedient to the prophet when he encouraged us to be journal keepers.I don't expect the angels to quote from any of my journals, nor do I expect any of my children to read through the thousands of pages that detailed all those years - at least forty!

But my current appreciation of journals is with those of my predecessors. How I love to read what they wrote of their lives, their joys, their heartaches, their successes and failures. But more contemporarily, as I'm cleaning out all my files and deciding what to keep, what to enter into Ancestry and Family Search and what is simply junk, I discovered a handwritten page my mother wrote about the birth of a younger sister. What a treasure for my sister and delightful bit of family history to add to my mom's life story.

I have one she wrote of my birth, but I have two other sisters that I apparently didn't urge her to write about so we are missing their births and that of my brother. He was tragically killed when he was 12 years old delivering his papers on his bicycle right before Christmas. I don't have her journal entry because she didn't keep one, but I was 16 and can remember vividly so many details from my perspective.

I don't know much about my grandparents: did Grandma Williams have a wedding dress or was she married in her Sunday best? Mom didn't think to ask and Grandma died when I was eight so I wasn't into family history yet. So much wonderful history is lost when we don't write it down in a journal. Thank heaven for those ancestors who either wrote their family history, a life sketch, or were avid journalists!

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

What a wonderful reminder of something that is so important! Thank you for sharing.